, Dec 9 () –
The Supreme Court of the Philippines has declared unconstitutional two parts of the controversial anti-terrorism law questioned as a possible instrument of political persecution against dissidents and opponents of the president, Rodrigo Duterte.
The Supreme Court ruled in a session this Thursday that article four and a paragraph of section 25 of the aforementioned law are “unconstitutional”, although it has approved by ten votes in favor and three against to give credit to the position of the Government and not declare the rest of the legislation as such.
Specifically, article four establishes that terrorism does not include promotion, protest, dissent, interruption of work, industrial or mass action and other similar exercises of civil and political rights. However, there is a nuance that marks that dissent is not considered terrorism, “as long as it is not intended to cause death or serious physical harm to a person, endanger a person’s life or create a serious risk to the person. public security”.
Thus, the Supreme Court has indicated that this last indication is unconstitutional for “exaggerating and violating freedom of expression,” the Court reported in a statement.
On the other hand, regarding article 25, which indicates that the Antiterrorist Council will automatically adopt the Consolidated List of the United Nations Security Council of individuals or groups designated as terrorists, terrorist funders or terrorist organizations, the Supreme Court has pointed to its second paragraph .
It notes that a request for appointment by other supranational jurisdictions may be adopted by the Philippine Anti-Terrorism Council after determining that the proposed designee meets the Council’s appointment criteria. The Court has not explained why it has found this point guilty.
Duterte signed the anti-terrorism law in July 2020 whose critics, including the UN and the NGO for Human Rights Human Rights Watch (HRW), denounced as a possible instrument of political persecution against dissidents and opponents of the president, in particular Filipino Muslims from the region from Mindanao, one of the focal points of the armed conflict in the country.